experts: real estate column Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Have we reached the turning point?

Yes, we seem to have reached that turning point where sales are increasing and inventories are starting to subside.

By Alan  Skinner

Firstly, thank you to all who e-mailed, called with comments and input on last month's Update regarding the speed of real estate "renewal" on our North Shore. On average it seems that more folk are happy with the present status than are unhappy. The latter group is of either "we don't want things to change" or "there's too much being built and that will drive our values down" camps. On that second camp, I would say that that would be good for buyers but I am skeptical that prices will drop and if they do it will only be in the very short term. The future demand will soak up all that is being developed and will inevitably lead to continued development.

The figures below will reveal the status of the July we have just experienced in our area and this is borne out by the following quote from the Real Estate Board's press release.

"Sunny weather did not slow the pace of home sale activity in July. Last month was the highest selling month of the year in Greater Vancouver and the highest selling July since 2009. The REBGV reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,946 on the Multiple Listing ServiceŽ in July 2013. This represents a 40.4 per cent increase compared to the 2,098 sales recorded in July 2012, and an 11.5 % increase compared to the 2,642 sales in June 2013"

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Yes, we seem to have reached that turning point where sales are increasing and inventories are starting to subside. The pent-up demand of the last year and its slow recovery in the first half of 2013 are leading to a more balanced and dare we say - bullish market? Very soon the bargains of the past six to twelve months will be gone and prices will rise. Buyers, solicit the help of an experienced Realtor and bring your plans to fruition.

Again to our 'Year to Date' figures for 2013. We now have 7 months figures 2013 vs. 2012. These are helping define our current year. North Van detached homes sold are up 6% from last year, attached (t/hses) , same as last year (206 vs. 206) and apartments down by 16% from 2012. Detached average prices down 2% and inventory up by only 2% from 2012. Average prices down 5% (t/hses) and up 3% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) 14% higher than July 31st 2012 and (apt) up from the same date by 3%.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for 2013 has dropped by 3% from July 31st 2012. Average price of what has sold is down by 2% and inventory up 13% over July 31st 2012.

On the condo side - attached (t/hses) sold 2013 are down by only 1% from 2012 at 51 vs. 52 units with no change in average price. Active listings are down year over year from July 31st 2012 by 10% (49 vs. 55). Apartments reflect 95 sold in 2013 vs. 113 (down 15%) from July 31st 2012; with average price up 12% from July 31st 2012 and active listings up 19% from July 31st 2012.

Overall the Vancouver aggregate figures appear more positive than West Vancouver, with North Vancouver keeping closer to Vancouver. W/Van's performance is not surprising coming off 2012's stellar year. I continue using average YTD prices which is now becoming more meaningful as we get additional months' stats to compare.

'SnapStats' (what price ranges are selling and which are not) is being very well received. I'm now forwarding the past 12 month trend for not only N and W/Van but ALL available metro neighbourhoods, as many requested. If any locations are not of interest, please ignore those areas.

So, visit my website to see and "hear" the new developments. I continue my commitment to keep you... - the "go to" site for N/S R/Estate analysis and jump-off point for FULL market information.

Join those wishing to get the e-mail version of the "update" and SnapStats - send a request to; phone (604) 988-7368 or visit and you'll be added.

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Recent Articles by this columnist:

Keeping Realtors Honest
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How well do we stack up?
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Resistance to change and compliance delay
Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Of urban planning and municipal wisdom
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yes, it's official - demand is rising
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

All articles by Alan  Skinner

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Alan Skinner

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